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Upping her Game - Shamiela Brophy's story

Updated: Aug 26, 2021


Shamiela was working at the Bernina shop in Claremont, Cape Town, as a receptionist and assistant when she met Yes We Can South Africa Foundation founder Mila, as a customer, in 2019 and they struck up a relationship that has grown into a warm and friendly one. Just before the end of February 2020 Shamiela lost her job at Bernina, but thankfully Mila made contact with her in March to help with the making of the facemasks that were so desperately needed for the Health Care Workers and this too was exactly what Shamiela needed to supplement her income.  


We must salute this lovely lady as she is writing her matric, at the age of 56, almost 40 years after leaving school! It takes a lot of courage to learn new things especially after a certain age - Shamiela is an inspiration to us!


Six months before a Computer Course was due to start with the Clothing Bank, Yes We Can management sent out a message to all ladies to ask who would be interested in attending it - for free! Shamiela jumped at the opportunity knowing she needed to up her game and become more familiar with all the new features on the computer and this in turn would help save time in the future when working on a day to day basis in her own sewing business. Each student was allowed to bring along another family member or a friend of their choice. Shamiela bought her 23 year old son Abdul along with her. Both have learnt so much more than they had imagined! The opportunity has created a stronger bond between family members learning a new skill together – such a beautiful sight to see! YWC, once again, feels blessed to have been chosen as the first organisation to receive this training from The Clothing Bank, in Cape Town!

We are realising the impact the digital world is having on our ability to sell our businesses, products and services online! It has also created great excitement for some as they have never used or touched a laptop in their lives before. It is paramount to Yes We Can to have a culture of learning and to teach ourselves new skills as often as possible. It also helps with future prospects when heading into the job market and applying for a position within a company, updating ones CV and a host of other things.

Shamiela has thoroughly enjoyed the 9 classes she has attended so far, with only 3 lessons left. She says “I wish time would slow down as I would love to spend more time with the people in my class. I feel very privileged to be a part of this group! The lady teaching our course really does know her stuff! She allows a lot of discussions in between teaching and she also gives out a lot of advice about other things too. We really do love learning and can’t wait to sign up for the next course!” With these courses and completing her matric she says “I am more excited about the future and I believe I have become quite the entrepreneur.” After all Shamiela does continue to make clothes for her family, friends and neighbours which in itself turned into a small home business.


Shamiela also goes onto say “Yes We Can South Africa Foundation has been such a blessing in our lives and we appreciate all that it is doing to help uplift the poorer communities. The team has so much energy and a lot of love to give!”



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